Don’t Go Without!

What does a rabbit’s foot and guardian angels have to do with this article? Keep reading and find out…

“And he went out to meet Asa, and said to him: “Hear me, Asa, and all Judah and Benjamin. The Lord is with you while you are with Him. If you seek Him, He will be found by you; but if you forsake Him, He will forsake you. For a long time Israel has been without the true God, without a teaching priest, and without law. ” (2 Chronicles 15:2–3, NKJV)

There’s so much in just these two verses.

“The Lord is with you while you are with Him.” We often pray the prayer, “Lord, just be with us….” It’s a nice prayer to pray, but God tells us how to have the Lord with you: Be with Him. Instead of asking the Lord to tag along with you, like some sort of guardian angel, or lucky rabbit’s foot, we need to be much with Him.

This next part leapt off the pages to me: “For a long time Maui has been without the true God, without a teaching priest, and without law.”

1. WITHOUT RELATIONSHIP Think of that, “without the true God”. It’s like living your whole life thinking and doing one thing, but the true reality is simply a figment of your imagination. In the context, Israel was getting involved in idol worship. They thought Ashram (v. 16) represented a powerful god, but it was merely statue. It would be like if my son talked to my guitar saying, “Daddy, I ask you to help me now.” I would have to grab him and say, “Hey, over here! I’m not that piece of wood!” I think of so many here in the Hawaii – living without God. Everyday, driving to work, not knowing the sweet presence of the Lord. ‘O how it must change!

2. WITHOUT REVELATION “without a teaching priest”. I like how Ezekiel puts it… “And they shall teach My people the difference between the holy and the unholy, and cause them to discern between the unclean and the clean.” (Ezekiel 44:23, NKJV) ‘O to receive and walk-in revelation knowledge!

3. WITHOUT RULES “without the law”. Now, I would be the first one to tell you, that Christianity isn’t a bunch of rules and regulations, but I’ve found that we can be so “free” that no longer have standards of righteousness. I see believers posting pictures on the internet of them drinking alcohol, smoking, and swearing . How can we really know the way if we’ve lost our compass, our sense of direction, and personal holiness? How can we show others the way if we, ourselves don’t know where we’re going ourselves? We’re going “without”.

…Without the presence of God
…Without the Bible
…Without daily devotions
…Without convictions and standards
…Without a prayer-life
… Without power
…Without direction

The Lord never meant for any one of us to go without. He fills the hunger soul with good things. Are you hungry enough to go to Him today? Don’t be one of those who goes without. Allow the Lord to do a work in your life today.

Prayer:
“Lord, I don’t want to “go without”. I need a stronger relationship with You today. Help me to draw near to You today, I pray. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.”

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CHAOS IS TAKING OVER!!

At times it can seem like chaos is reigning.

– Parents are getting out of control
– Local drug dealers are busy polluting Society
– Your best friend just talked behind your back
– Brothers & sisters are driving you crazy
– “There’s no food in the fridge!”
– …and “Why doesn’t anybody CARE!!!???”

Always remember that when it’s super crazy all around you – it doesn’t have to GET IN you. The storm might be raging all around you, but it doesn’t need to get all up ON you! Jesus is your Strong Tower – Run to Him and you’ll be safe. It’s the smartest move you’ll ever make.

Feeling like a “spiritual-slacker”?

If you feel like you have been a “spiritual-slacker” lately then I’ve got just the thing that will revitalize your relationship with God!!

Starting this Friday we’re going on a 21-Day “DANIEL FAST”

JOIN THE 21-DAY FAST!!

A “Daniel Fast” is when you abstain from “Pleasant Food” [Daniel 10:3], and eat only fruit, vegetables, nuts, etc. [Just click on the link above and you’ll see a Bulletin at the bottom of the page with alot more info]. But someone once said…

“Drastic times require drastic measures.”

You don’t have to go the full 21 days. You can do a meal here and there, and perhaps the 2 week you can go a couple days. The point is to do something. “…deny yourself, take up your cross, and follow Jesus!”

You and I are living in a time where this world is literally collapsing around us, and if your heart isn’t strengthened, and if you aren’t as close to God as you think you are…. you won’t be able to make it. You say, “how absurd!?” Really? Jesus Christ, Himself – fully God, fully man went on a 40-Day Fast because He knew the severity of living in this sin-soaked world. If you & I don’t stand strong for Christ in the day-and-age that we’re living in we’re going to be swept off our feet with the ever-increasing tide of sin.

The time to stop it is now! It’s time for a change! Join our 21-Day Fast today!

Pastor Robb

Man Accuses Doctor of Stapling Buttocks Shut

[And you thought you had problems…] Maryland – Arguments began Monday in a federal lawsuit alleging that a Maryland doctor stapled a man’s rectum shut during an operation, rendering him unable to move his bowels for 17 days, the Baltimore Examiner reported.
Ronald Watkins, 64, of West Virginia, has accused Dr. Manuel Casiano, a doctor in Frederick County, Maryland for botching a September 2004 surgery that left him with permanent bowel problems, according to the report.

Connecting with Young People… ‘How ya doin’?

Listen to it on iTunes:: UNITED YOUTH CHURCH PODCAST

Being in Youth Ministry is no easy task. But I have found a few little nuggets that have helped me in today’s age of technology. Here’s just a few Leadership keys for you::

1. Get all the Love you need from the Lord, Himself. Don’t look for others to “fill your tank”.

2. Keep an eye on your “Devotional Life”. Ask yourself… “How have I been doing lately in my devotional life?” If you’ve been skipping personal Prayer & daily Bible reading chances are you might not have a whole lot to give to young people. But make just a slight adjustment in this area and you’ll notice a huge difference.

3. Get Your Kids #’s programmed into your Cell phone. Edit their last names with a “your youth groups initials” at the end, so they’re easy to find. Send them a Txt when you’re watching a movie, or when you have a chance. They’ll be so excited you did.

4. Consider Upgrading to an “Unlimited TXTing plan”. They’re usually around $15. a month. This way you’re not sweating going over, and chances are you won’t use as many of your cell minutes in a given month.

5. Develop a Greater TXTING/FB/MySpace Relationship with your Youth. For me, I can usually find a half hour somewhere in the evening to connect with (and make “Eternal Deposits”), into the lives of these precious Kids. A couple of quick MySpace comments goes a long way in developing real relationships.

6. [You tell me]::

Real TXTing Questions from my Young People (Part 1)

These are presented in the exact way that appeared in my iphone on September 3, 2008

1. Y does life go by by and sme of us feel alone on wat we do? Cuz there are times where I feel alone.
Feeling alone is natural human emotion. As human beings though – we were created to be in a relationship with God. When we neglect to open our heart to God there can be an overwhelming sense of emptiness that can result in despression.

2. I messed up a few days ago, and God touched me with a song on my ipod and broke in tears on the bus. But why do I still feel like a heavy burden that won’t leave and y do I have past hidden hurts dat won’t go away?
You may have just answered your own question. It sounds like God is trying to get your attention to let you know that the heavy burden you’re feeling – He’s wanting to take it away if you will just allow Him to.

3. Why do I feel like I want to run away and go somewhere far wen I feel unheard?
You’re actually experiencing the same thing as someone in the Bible. “Because of the voice of the enemy…. so I said, “Oh, that I had wings like a dove! I would fly away and be at rest.” [Ps. 55] Sometimes the enemy of our souls deliberately tries to pull us away from God, who is our Rock. So, don’t listen to the voice of Satan. But try to focus only on listening to God’s voice.

4. Wen I mess up, y do I feel like I don’t belong in da church? Y do I feel like if people knew the real me that they wil not like me or not care abt me any more?
You feel like this because “at Church” people are smiling, singing, and looking like they’ve got their act together. The truth is that a lot of us don’t feel like we “belong”, but when we are in-relationship with others in the Church, [like in a small group] we are positioning ourselves to be vulnerable in a safe environment.

5. Wen I mess up, I want to run to the church and stay there to feel safe. Y iz that?
The Church is the Body of Chirst. The house of God ought to be a safe haven. I believe Sunday morning ought to be the best time of day for us all. Psalm 84 says, “For a day in Your courts is better than a thousand. I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God than dwell in the tents of wickedness.”

6. Y am I scared to confess wa I do wrong, to my parents or anybody else dat ask wa I did, but im not scared to tel God?
Like us all, you fear being rejected and judged by people. It’s obvious from your question though that you’ve experienced the Grace of God. Get [and keep] some good Christian friends, and walk in the light – unashamed.

7. Why iz it dat sometimes I feel like no 1 loves or cares abt me wen I mess up?
You might have fallen into the familiar trap of looking to people to comfort you instead of God. Always remember that God is the only one who will fill your needs. God may use people, but cast all your care on God for He cares for you. [1 Pet. 5:7].

8. Why do I feel like I need a hug to make me feel better? I wish dat God wil just take to be with him in heaven 4ever.
Everybody needs a hug. As a youth pastor if I don’t hug at least 50 kids every week I feel dis-connected. You’re craving love. God will supply that love you need right here on earth. You don’t have to wait till Heaven. I would say too – start giving hugs and people will start hugging you.

9. I have 1 friend dat I realy care abt. Wat do I tel her wen she iz down and feels dat no1 cares?
1st and foremost – be a good listener. Nobody likes a “know-it-all”. 2nd of all do your best to relate to your friend. Let her know that you’ve felt the same. 3rd – (if it’s appropriate) share a scripture that’s touched your heart. And 4thly – Offer to pray a comforting prayer for her.

10. Y do I feel like sme of mi talents and gifts hav been taken? Wat do I do?
2 Scriptures come to mind: Rom. 11:29 [in the NLT]: “For God’s gifts and his call can never be withdrawn.” In other words, when God gives gifts He doesn’t take them away. The other is 2 Tim. 1:6… “This is why I remind you to fan into flames the spiritual gift God gave you.” “Fan into flame” means, starting using your gifts and talents! If you sing… maybe you need to join the worship team. If you write poetry… maybe you need to read your poem at Church or post it on MySpace. Start using your gifts and you’ll be amazed.

11. Rite nw I hear a song dat I have on mi ipod, and y do I have mi own words to worship God with the same beat? I write poetry/rap or soft hymes. Wat do I do wen God puts in my heart a song?
I would write them down. Someone once said, “A long pencil is better than a short memory.”

12. Iz it ok to share wi other wat God showed or spoke to u?
Yes and no. Let me elaborate. When God spoke to Nehemiah to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem, this is what Nehemiah wrote down… “I had not told anyone about the plans God had put in my heart for Jerusalem.” [Neh. 2:12]. He just wanted God to bring it to pass, and not try to do it in his own strength. The “yes” part of this is that, at the right time you should share what God has spoken to you! We see this in Neh. 2:18.

13. Can me being 1 person, be used mightily to make a difference?
There was a picture I used to have in my office that was a huge crowd of people, and there was a bubble-cloud over each of them that thought… “What can one person do?” Can one person be used to start a fire? I believe God is glorified by using the weak things of this world to confound the wise. Let Him start with you.

14. God showed me my future and mi family. Wa do I do tel then?

It would depend what you thought God showed you. If it’s life-threatening I might share it and ask if you can pray together as a family. If it’s in regard to something else you might want to just be like Mary in the Bible… “But Mary kept all these things and pondered them in her heart.” [Luke 2:19]

15. Am I realy loved or do people put on a show 4 me?
One thing I would recommend is, try not to figure out other people’s motives for doing things. You’ll go crazy wondering if someone is genuine or not. Love is vulnerable. I would say, you should receive people’s love as genuine. If they are playing games with you, at least you gave them the benefit of the doubt, and you were real with them.

16. I realy love mi friends and family, but its hard and it hurts too hear da bad thing they say. Wa dod I do?
You must have a very genuine heart for God. You are the kind of person that feels what God feels. What would Jesus do? Would He lash out at them? Or would He allow bitterness to creep in to His heart? God’s Love will always be more than yours. So draw on God’s limitless supply of Love and continue to love them unconditionally.

17. Y do I keep asking God to help me cry to relieve pains and hurts? What do I do if I have bottled up pains and hurts?
In my opinion tears are like medicine, and a good cry is cleansing. But if your experience is that of… only crying will help me – God may be calling you into a deeper realm of faith now. Bottled-up pains and hurts are used by the Holy Spirit to draw us closer to God. Take time to “spill the bottles” to God, and believe that He has heard your prayer and will answer in His way and on His time-table.

18. Why am I changing into a person that iz confused on and off abt who I am? “Identity crises” is somewhat normal for Teens. Your physical body is going thru huge changes. Give yourself some grace when you don’t know who you are anymore. Smile, and say, “God, you sure do have Your hands full!” But on the flip-side – It could it be that you are forgetting your identity is in Christ alone. It not in what you wear or how much money your parents have, or how many friends you have. When you lose your life, and lay it down at the foot of the cross is when you actually find your life and really start enjoying it.

Be watching for Part 2. There’s some amazing questions!!

Let me know what you think,

Pastor Robb Gorringe
UNITED YOUTH, Chicago, IL
EVANGEL WORLD OUTREACH CENTER

N.I.N.O.

Last nite I shared a message with my young people about N.I.N.O. Now, for those of you who aren’t up on the latest “Techy” terms it means, “No Input, No Output.” Basically it means that if the right data input isn’t typed-in, then you’re not going to get the right result. It’s like when you want to change your profile on MySpace… if you type in the wrong HTML what’s gonna happen? Exactly! A messed-up profile! Many of us get messed up results in life, not just because “the devil is after me!”, but because we haven’t taken the time to put the proper spiritual nutrients into our spirit-man. In fact Mr. Job knew all about this when he said,

“I have not departed from the commandment of His lips; I have treasured the words of His mouth more than my necessary food.” Job 23:12 [NKJV]

In other words, God’s Word is what sustains us and gives us supernatural strength.

Now there’s another acronym that is along these same lines, and it goes like this… G.I.G.O. Heard of this one? “Garbage In, Garbage Out.” Just try eating a solid diet of Hershy’s candy bars for breakfast, lunch, and dinner… just for a week! [I know, I know… that’s gross.] But so many of us are pumping garbage into our mind and hearts non-stop 24/7, and we wonder why we get so irritable and feel like “Devil’s food” everyday?

Here’s a couple quick tips to get the right “stuff” into your system:

1. Go Get You a Strong Devotional-Life!
Living from crisis-to-crisis has to stop. Get back to spending quality time with the Lord each and everyday. There’s no short-cut to spiritual growth.

2. Invest in Some Good Q.T.A.’s!
Q.T.A.’s are, “Quiet-Time Accessories”. Get yourself a good Bible, maybe even buy a new Bible, start fresh! Buy some fluorescent pens and begin a new journey with God! Next, get yourself a Daily Bible Reading Plan. This will give your Quiet-Time some focus. You’ll know where you’re going to read each day and won’t be intimidated by the thickness of God’s Word. Then I would say, invest in a Spiritual Journal. It doesn’t have to be fancy, a spiral notebook works fine. This where you write down what the Holy Spirit is speaking to you. It’s also a great outlet for frustration. “Are you serious?” Just read the Psalms! That was King David’s Spiritual Journal! And then lastly make sure you invest some quality, un-hurried time in prayer to God. This is going to energize you more than a double-shot at Starbucks!

Just remember those acronyms: N.I.N.O., G.I.G.O., and Q.T.A.’s, and develop your spiritual-life!